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Freedom and democracy are Taiwan's soft power: president

Freedom and democracy are Taiwan's soft power: president

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Tuesday that freedom and democracy, which are pivotal to Taiwan's existence and development, can serve as Taiwan's "soft power" in its relationship with China.
"In order to achieve the goal of preventing war, resolute defense can serve the purpose, with effective deterrence being the means," Ma said in an address at a ceremony to promote a group of 33 officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force to ranks as generals.
However, Ma noted that viewed from the nation's overall strategy, the deterrence should be formed by the nation's strength in all areas, including politics, the economy, the military and the psychology of the people.
Quoting from "The Art of War" -- a classic book written by renowned military strategist Sun Tzu more than 2,500 years ago -- Ma said, "The highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces; the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field; and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities." "In other words, politically we need to deepen Taiwan's democracy and manifest Taiwan's freedom -- the two values vital to Taiwan's existence and development," he said, adding that democracy and freedom are also Taiwan's important soft-power assets in its relationship with China.
Soft power is a term coined by Harvard professor Joseph Nye in 1990 to describe a country's ability to lead by example and influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies through cultural or ideological means.
President Ma also said that cross-Taiwan Strait economic exchanges in the past 20 years have proved to be beneficial to both Taiwan and China and that people in Taiwan should have confidence in themselves with regard to increased interaction between the two sides.
"We have the good systems and strength envied by other people around the world, and we hold the necessary advantage in the cross-strait competition," Ma said.
Since beginning his term in office in May, Ma has pushed for a warming of ties between China and Taiwan, which the Chinese government still considers a province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
Ma's policies to improve relations with China, especially to build closer economic ties, have worried the pro-independence segment of the population in Taiwan who fear that the island could suffer from an influx of cheap Chinese labor and products, and can lose its sovereignty and self-rule.
(By Han Nai-kuo)




Updated : 2021-04-17 23:26 GMT+08:00